for my son's fourth birthday he had a lot of ideas about what he wanted for his party. after discussing who he wanted (and did not want) to invite, we talked about food and games. He listed off some games like musical statues and then said he also wanted to play a game called 'Night Time the Day'. Do you play that at preschool? i asked. 'No i made it up. You have to turn off the lights, pretend we are sleeping and you have to have glowing things so we can see. Then we turn back on the lights and jump and pretend we are camels. then we lie down and be sleeping again. So the girls dress up as princesses [i didn't know he even knew that word?] and the boys dress up as dragons [currently very taken with the book Mr Tickle and the Dragon] and i'm going to have a Dinosaur party and a Rocket cake'. 'What's the dinosaur bit?' i ask. 'That's just the party so we have to hang up dinosaur balloons. and actually the camel game might be rabbits or kangaroos because they can both jump but camels can't. Please can you turn of the lights and i'll show you how it works. and can you get some glowing things?'
i got he and i and Little Miss M torches and we lay in the dark with the torches on and Little Mr Z sang a long song to us and then we woke up, lights on and jumped around the room - repeat...
we didn't end up playing the kangaroo game at his party but we did have a lot of fun and everyone dressed up as dragons and princesses and the rocket ship cake was a hit.
i find it very hard to get my cakes to rise nicely. my mum gave me some advice about beating the wet ingredients really well and then not stirring the cake mixture too much after adding the dry ingredients. it worked a treat with this great easy cake recipe:
- 100g/3½oz unsalted butter
- 250g/9oz caster or brown sugar
- 50ml/2fl oz sunflower oil
- 25g/1oz cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract4 eggs80ml/2½fl oz milk100ml/3½fl oz double cream300g/10½oz plain flour3 tsp baking powder
1. grease the cake tins and preheat the oven to180C/350F
2. Melt the butter over a low heat in a small pan, pour it into a bowl with the sugar, oil, cocoa powder and vanilla. Beat well until smooth, then whisk in the eggs followed by the milk and cream.
3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture and beat until smooth, then spoon into the prepared tin and cover the top of the tin with aluminium foil.
4. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 20 minutes, or the top is springy and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
i made one cake in a round tin with a hole in the middle and one round cake. two round cakes could also work fine for this.
i cut the shape out below and filled in the middle
i used a set of round cookie cutters to make this cake tower
and then covered it in butter icing (beat unsalted butter and lots of icing sugar - to taste). i added blue food colouring for the rocket legs.
i then used candy to decorate
happy dinosaur with his new train set